TheChic_dr pepper cupcakes

I have been drinking Dr. Pepper my whole life and I still can’t tell you what it tastes like.  Dr. Pepper is supposedly made up of 23 different flavors, thus its unique and alluring taste.  Is there ginger?  Orange?  Vanilla?  Who knows?  It doesn’t matter, all I know is that it sure is tasty and that’s why we’re using it to make Dr Pepper Cupcakes!

TheChic_dr pepper cupcakes with sprinkles and cherry

Although these Dr Pepper Cupcakes don’t actually taste like the soda, the Dr. Pepper helps to enhance the rich chocolatey flavors of the cake while making the cake also light and fluffy from the carbonation.  People are always surprised when you tell them there’s soda in the cupcakes.  They try really hard to taste the flavors in the cake.  The frosting, however, does lend a slight Dr. Pepper flavor that is quite surprising.

TheChic_dr pepper cupcake ingredients

There are countless versions of this recipe, many made from scratch, many handed down from grandmothers and great-grandmothers.  This being my first foray into Dr. Pepper cake, I chose to use a chocolate boxed cake mix.  It is not cheating; it is being resourceful.  Plus, you’d be surprised at how many restaurants and bakeries use cake mixes for their products.

Rather than follow the directions from the back of the package, I swapped in my own ingredients: 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, three large eggs, and 1 cup of Dr. Pepper.  I saved a ton of time by using a boxed cake mix.  By tweaking a little here and there, this cake is already going to taste better than the original mix.

TheChic_dr pepper cupcake batter

I use an ice cream scoop to equally distribute the cake batter.  I don’t like cupcakes that overflow over the wrapper, so I fill my cupcake liners 2/3 full.  If you want that little bump, fill them 3/4 full.

I prefer cakes over cupcakes because of the frosting to cake ratio.  In a traditional layer cake, you get a nice balance of frosting and cake.  However, most cupcakes only have frosting slathered on the top, leaving nothing to moisten the inside of the cupcake.  To remedy this, I like to make a little hole in the center of the cupcake and dig out a little piece of cake.  Then I pipe a small dollop of frosting inside and cover the hole with additional frosting on top.  This way, even when you get to the last bite of cupcake, you’ll also have a bit of frosting to sweetened it up. It’s also a nice surprise to bite into.

Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1- 15.25 oz Boxed Cake Mix, chocolate flavored ( I used Pillsbury Devil’s Food)

3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup Dr. Pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.  Set aside.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add chocolate boxed cake mix.  Mix on low speed to break up any clumps.  Add buttermilk and vegetable oil and mix on medium speed until flour mixture is moistened.

3.  Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next.  Once all the eggs have been combined, slowly stream in Dr. Pepper with the mixer running on low.  Mix until combined.

4. Distribute batter among prepared muffin tin.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full for muffins to rise at same level as cupcake wrapper.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 full for muffins to rise above cupcake wrapper.  Bake for 18-22 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.  Rotate muffin tin midway though baking to ensure even cooking.  Let cupcakes rest in tin for 3 minutes before unmolding.  Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature on wire rack before frosting and decorating.

TheChic_dr pepper soda cupcakes

Dr. Pepper Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

5 Tbsp Dr. Pepper

maraschino cherry, for garnish

chocolate jimmies/sprinkles, for garnish

Instructions:

1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and shortening until smooth.

2.  In another bowl, sift together confectioners/powdered sugar and cocoa powder.  Add half of mixture to mixing bowl with butter.  Mix on medium speed until incorporated.

3.  Slowly add Dr. Pepper with the mixer running on low.  Add remaining half of sugar-cocoa mixture and mix on medium speed until combined.  Transfer to pastry bag or zip-lock bag to pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.  Garnish with maraschino cherry and chocolate jimmies for garnish.

TheChic_dr pepper cupcakes with cherry

Dr. Pepper Cupcakes
Yields 24
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Cupcakes
  1. 1-15.25 oz Boxed Cake Mix, chocolate flavored
  2. 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  4. 3 large eggs, room temperature
  5. 1 cup Dr. Pepper
Dr. Pepper Frosting
  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  3. 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  4. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  5. 5 Tbsp Dr. Pepper
  6. maraschino cherry, for garnish
  7. chocolate jimmies/sprinkles, for garnish
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake wrappers. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add chocolate boxed cake mix. Mix on low speed to break up any clumps. Add buttermilk and vegetable oil and mix on medium speed until flour mixture is moistened.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Once all the eggs have been combined, slowly stream in Dr. Pepper with the mixer running on low. Mix until combined.
  4. Distribute batter among prepared muffin tin. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full for muffins to rise at same level as cupcake wrapper. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full for muffins to rise above cupcake wrapper. Bake for 18-22 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Rotate muffin tin midway though baking to ensure even cooking. Let cupcakes rest in tin for 3 minutes before unmolding. Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature on wire rack before frosting and decorating.
Dr. Pepper Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and shortening until smooth.
  2. In another bowl, sift together confectioners/powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add half of mixture to mixing bowl with butter. Mix on medium speed until incorporated.
  3. Slowly add Dr. Pepper with the mixer running on low. Add remaining half of sugar-cocoa mixture and mix on medium speed until combined. Transfer to pastry bag or zip-lock bag to pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with maraschino cherry and chocolate jimmies for garnish.
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